Legend says that back in the sixties the Soviets took a devastatingly simple approach to writing in space. NASA reputedly chose a precisely engineered space pen with pressurised ink for writing in zero-gravity. But the Soviets selected a beautifully unadorned tool to conduct the ancient and elegant artform of writing.

The humble pencil.

A rubber tip of a pencil

Always use protection when copywriting (photo by Pink Sherbet Photography)

I haven’t been into space yet, but writing’s a daily occurrence in my line of work as a freelance copywriter. And recently I’ve rediscovered just how natural and satisfying copywriting is when accompanied by an honourable cylinder of lead encased in a wooden jacket.

A relative thought it was a joke when I asked for some nice pencils for my birthday. I had to reassure her that I don’t have want of much these days. Just a few good books, spare hours for growing veggies and some space to indulge my copywriting whims.

To my elation she duly gifted a pack of pencils to acquaint myself with. And what a glorious reunion it’s been!

I’d forgotten just how effortless and fluid it is to write copy with a pencil. Even now as I draft this blog post its tip skates deftly across each contour of the page. Undulating gently over soft depressions and ascending nimbly out the other side.

There’s an unspoken joy shared between my hand the top of the pencil as its flattened edge accelerates pleasingly over smooth sections of paper. Letters liberate themselves gracefully and sentences stride confidently towards the spine of my moleskine.

My father, an English teacher and author, swears there’s an organic connection between the natural fluidity of writing with pencil and the velocity of thoughts as they cascade from your mind.

I believe him.

That’s because three hundred words just spilled fluently onto the page in a little under three mintes. And that sort of productivity makes me a very content copywriter.